The Year In Black Women Winning: Megan Thee Stallion, Ava Duvernay, Cyntoia Brown, Lizzo & More

A Year In Black Girl Magic: Lizzo

The Year In Black Women Winning: Megan Thee Stallion, Ava Duvernay, Cyntoia Brown, Lizzo & More

19 moments Black women shook up 2019.

Published 4 weeks ago

Written by Tweety Elitou

As 2019 comes to a close, we’re still cleaning up the confetti left behind from all the major Black Girl Magic moments we celebrated this year! From breaking barriers in the entertainment industry to providing positivity to all, Black women proved how outstanding they are. 

With there being so many Black Girl Magic moments to celebrate, we’ve decided to highlight the most memorable moments of 2019 that deserve a thunderous round of applause—in no particular order!

  1. Cyntoia Brown Began To Live Her Best Life After Being Released From Prison.
    ATLANTA, GEORGIA - NOVEMBER 11:  Author Cyntoia Brown Long signs copies her new book "Free Cyntoia: My Search for Redemption in the American Prison System" at Clark Atlanta University on November 11, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)
    (Photo: Paras Griffin/Getty Images)

    After serving 15 years of a life sentence for killing a man who solicited her for underage sex, Cyntoia Brown-Long was finally granted clemency and began to live her best life. 

    RELATED | Cyntoia Brown Released From Prison After Spending 15 Years Behind Bars

    Upon her release, the 31-year-old tied the knot with Christian rapper J. Long, and she shared the details of their union in her much-anticipated book, Free Cyntoia: My Search for Redemption in the American Prison System. 

  2. The Success Of Marsai Martin’s Movie, ‘Little’ Earned Her The Title Of Hollywood’s “Youngest Executive Producer.”
    LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 23: Marsai Martin poses for a portrait at the 2019 BET Awards on June 23, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage)
    (Photo: Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage)

    At 14-years-old, Marsai Martin broke glass ceilings by becoming Hollywood’s “youngest executive producer” for her blockbuster film, Little, which grossed over $40.7 million in the United States. 

    RELATED | EXCLUSIVE: Marsai Martin Is Ready To Be The Youngest Billionaire In Hollywood, But First She's Got A New Role In STEM

    According to The Hollywood Reporter, the recipient of the 2019 BET Awards Young Star Award has another project up her sleeve—a new film comedy called, Queen. Wear that crown, lil sis!

  3. Lizzo Finally Got The Recognition She Deserved!
    BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 28: Lizzo attends the 30th Annual GLAAD Media Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on March 28, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
    (Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

    Although it took three years before her talent was recognized, Lizzo is having a serious moment after contemplating quitting music! This year, the professional singer/flutist topped the Billboard Music Charts for seven weeks straight with her self-assuring anthem, Truth Hurts— two years after its initial release. 

    RELATED | Lizzo Reveals Why She Nearly Quit Music After Releasing ‘Truth Hurts’

    Plus, there’s no denying the curvaceous beauty inspired us all year long with her stunning body confidence and fashionable looks. We see you, girl! 

  4. Beyoncé produced an anthem for “Brown Skin Girls.”
    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 14: Beyonce Knowles-Carter attends the European Premiere of "The Lion King" at Odeon Luxe Leicester Square on July 14, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/WireImage)
    (Photo: David M. Benett/Dave Benett/WireImage)

    The 2019 album The Lion King: The Gift was epic thanks to Beyoncé's much-needed anthem “Brown Skin Girls.” 

    The second collaboration between Queen Bey and her daughter Blue Ivy Carter proved to be so influential that the newly-crowned Miss Universe 2019 Zozibini Tunzi revealed that song honoring various brown skin tones in our rainbow community was in rotation every morning before her big day. 

    RELATED | Brown Skin Girl!: The World Rejoices As Zozibini Tunzi From South Africa Is Crowned Miss Universe 2019

    The song featuring Guyanese singer Saint Jhn and Nigerian singer Wizkid also caused the viral #BrownSkinGirlChallenge!

  5. Simone Biles Was Named ‘Female Olympic Athlete Of The Year' And Historically Had Two Moves Named After Her.
    13 October 2019, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Stuttgart: Gymnastics: world championships, apparatus finals, women, balance beams. Simone Biles from the USA in action. Photo: Marijan Murat/dpa (Photo by Marijan Murat/picture alliance via Getty Images)
    (Photo: Marijan Murat/picture alliance via Getty Images)

    Record-setting gymnast, Simone Biles was awarded the Female Olympic Athlete of the Year by Team USA. We’re not surprised since the 22-year-old powerhouse became the most decorated American female gymnast, earning a total of 27 gold medals.

    She also proved she is the GOAT by historically having two moves named in her honor, “The Biles” and “The Biles II.” You can’t beat that!

  6. Keshia Knight Pulliam and Arian Simone founded their 'Fearless Fund' for Black Women in business.
    (Photo: Marcus Ingram/Getty Images for BET, Prince Williams/FilmMagic)

    Sistahs are doing it for themselves! Actress and activist, Keshia Knight Pulliam and business partner, Arian Simone created the Fearless Fund— a venture capitalist initiative to help make Black women’s entrepreneurial dreams come true. 

    RELATED | Keisha Knight Pulliam Launches Venture Capital Fund For Black Women Alongside Black Girl Boss Author Arian Simone

    So far the pair have Ellis Island Ice Tea, EnrichHER, and 100 Black Angels Fund listed in their portfolio. We are sure that we can expect more black excellence from these ladies in 2020! 

  7. Ava DuVernay brought attention to the 'Exonerated Five.'
    LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 22: (L-R) Antron McCay, Raymond Santana, Kevin Richardson, Ava DuVernay, Korey Wise, and Yusef Salaam attend the 71st Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 22, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
    (Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

    Ava DuVernay made a powerful statement by having Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray, Korey Wise, Raymond Santana, and Yusef Salaam as her dates to the 2019 Emmy Awards.

    The five men, known as the "Exonerated Five," looked strong as they showed their support to the writer/director, who told their story in the limited-series Netflix original When They See Us

    RELATED | Exonerated 5 Receive Standing Ovation At 2019 BET Awards

    Nominated for sixteen awards, the miniseries highlighted the lives of the young boys who were wrongly prosecuted in the 1989 rape and assault of a Central Park jogger. 

  8. Michelle Obama Donated $500,000 Of Her Book’s Proceeds To Support Young Girls’ Education.
    ATLANTA, GEORGIA - MAY 11:  Former First Lady Michelle Obama attends 'Becoming: An Intimate Conversation with Michelle Obama' at State Farm Arena on May 11, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)
    (Photo: Paras Griffin/Getty Images)

    Our forever FLOTUS, Michelle Obama continued to keep us talking as she toured the U.S. to promote her 2018 much-anticipated memoirBecoming

    Opening up about everything from her upbringing to her relationship with her presidential husband Barack Obama, the book broke some serious records selling 11.7 million copies across all formats worldwide since its publication. 

    In December, Mrs. Obama vowed to donate more than $500,000 of the proceeds from her book to the Girls Opportunity Alliance in support of young girls’ education across the world. We love it!

  9. Halima Aden Became The First Muslim To Wear A Hijab In Sports Illustrated.
    (Photo: Sports Illustrated)

    When Sports Illustrated dropped their Annual Swimsuit Edition earlier this year, it was a game-changing moment. Highlighting Black Somali-American model, Halima Aden, this was the first time a Muslim woman wore a hijab and burkini in the magazine. 

  10. Rihanna Dominated The Lingerie Business By Having Her Inclusive NYFW ‘Savage X Fenty’ Show Televised.
    BROOKLYN, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 10: Rihanna performs onstage during Savage X Fenty Show Presented By Amazon Prime Video - Show Sneak Peak at Barclays Center on September 10, 2019 in Brooklyn, New York. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Savage X Fenty Show Presented by Amazon Prime Video )
    (Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Savage X Fenty Show Presented by Amazon Prime Video)

    When Victoria’s Secret decided to hang up its wings by doing away with its annual fashion show, rumors assumed our favorite bad gal, played a part in the decision. 

    Strongly advocating for inclusivity, Rihanna changed the game in lingerie with her Savage x Fenty show that included women of all colors, sizes, shapes, and more. The show was such a big deal that Amazon exclusively aired the extravaganza on Amazon Prime

    RELATED | Rihanna Locked Up Everyone’s Phone And Shocked The World By Taking The Stage At Her Savage x Fenty New York Fashion Show

    And who can forget that Rih left us drooling with her sexy promo pics? Just saying.

  11. Legendary Beauty Brands, Fashion Fair Cosmetics and Black Opal Became Black-Owned!
    (Photos From Left To Right: Nathan Becker, Courtesy of Fashion Fair Cosmetics, Powell Photography)

    It was an iconic moment when makeup brand owners, Desiree Rogers and Cheryl Mayberry McKissack purchased Fashion Fair Cosmetics, a legendary cosmetics brand founded in 1973, from the Johnson Publishing Company. Major! 

    RELATED | Boss Moves! Black Opal's New Owners Acquire Legacy Cosmetics Brand For Women Of Color, Fashion Fair

    This came a few months after the lovely ladies purchased the popular makeup brand BLK/OPL (formerly Black Opal), known for making makeup for women of color since 1994.

  12. Megan Thee Stallion Created An Entire Movement: ‘Hot Girl Summer!’
    ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 5: Megan Thee Stallion performs onstage at the BET Hip Hop Awards 2019 at Cobb Energy Center on October 05, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
    (Photo: Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

    Megan Thee Stallion set the internet ablaze by kickstarting an entire movement with her Hot Girl mentality. Throughout the summer, you couldn’t scroll through your timeline without seeing the hashtag #HotGirlSummer, along with a photo of someone living their best life. 

    RELATED | Megan Thee Stallion And Nicki Minaj’s ‘Hot Girl Summer’ Song Has The Internet Sweating Bullets

    In case you needed an explanation of what a “Hot Girl” is, the 5 '10 beauty explained on Twitter: “Being a Hot Girl is about being unapologetically YOU, having fun, being confident, living YOUR truth, being the life of the party, etc.” 

  13. Jordyn Woods Proved She Didn’t Need Any Handouts After Her ‘Red Table Talk’ Interview Sparked Business Success!
    BURBANK, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 11: Jordyn Woods visits "Extra" at Burbank Studios on December 11, 2019 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)
    (Photo: Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)

    Jordyn Woods had the biggest glo’ up of the year! After her infamous departure from the KarJenner clan and an eye-opening interview on Jada Pinkett-Smith’s Red Table Talk, the 22-year-old model kickstarted her career in successful collaborations. 

    RELATED | Jordyn Woods Makes More Business Moves After Being Excommunicated From Kylie And The Kardashian-Jenner Family

    From deals with brands like BooHoo to lanching her 2nd SecndNture collection, it’s no question Jordy proved she doesn’t need anyone’s handouts. 

  14. Meghan Markle Spoke Her Mind And Demanded Respect From British Tabloids.
    Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, holding their son Archie, meet Archbishop Desmond Tutu (not pictured) at the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation in Cape Town, South Africa, September 25, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville/Pool
    (Photo: Toby Melville - Pool/Getty Images)

    It was quite a busy year for the Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle. From giving birth to her first child with husband, Prince Harry, to doing huge amounts of charity work, our favorite royal family member was one to watch! 

    While unfortunately, she became a victim of bullying by British media outlets, we were proud that our sister, spoke her piece and demanded respect.

  15. Tracee Ellis Ross Launched A Revolutionary Hair Care Line For Curls.
    LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS -- Episode 877 -- Pictured: Actress Tracee Ellis Ross on September 4, 2019 -- (Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank)
    (Photo: Lloyd Bishop/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

    Known for her curly tresses, it didn’t come as a surprise when Tracee Ellis Ross revealed the exciting news that she created a hair care line catering to girls with 3B-4C hair, called PATTERN

    RELATED | Black And Beautiful: Tracee Ellis Ross Releases Nude Photoshoot To Announce New Haircare Line “Pattern” For Girls With 3b to 4c Hair

    What did have us clutching our pearls is the way the 45-year-old Black-ish star announced it—flaunting her fabulous curls in the nude! An entire mood.

  16. Tisha Campbell & Tichina Arnold Demanded Attention At The 2019 Soul Train Awards.
    LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - NOVEMBER 17:  Tisha Campbell (L) and Tichina Arnold co-host the 2019 Soul Train Awards presented by BET at the Orleans Arena on November 17, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for BET)
    (Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images for BET)

    Tisha Campbell and Tichina Arnold did not disappoint as the hosts of the 2019 Soul Train Awards. From vogue dancing in sexy skin-tight catsuits to leaving us laughing with their tongue-in-cheek comedy, the fabulous duo were hosts to remember. Dopeness!

  17. Mj Rodriguez Historically Landed Her First Beauty Campaign With Olay Body.
    NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06: MJ Rodriguez attends the WSJ. Magazine 2019 Innovator Awards sponsored by Harry Winston and Rémy Martinat MOMA on November 06, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Lars Niki/Getty Images for WSJ. Magazine Innovators Awards )
    (Photo: Lars Niki/Getty Images for WSJ. Magazine Innovators Awards )

    Pose star Mj Rodriguez was proudly named the first transwoman to secure a partnership with Olay Body. Showing off her flawless skin, the Black Latina served as one of the brand’s coveted ambassadors for their 14 Day Skin Transformation campaign. Serve, girl, serve! 

  18. Black Beauty Mogul, Supa Cent Broke Records By Selling $1.3M Of Merchandise— In One Hour!
    LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 11: Wuzzam Supa attends Beautycon Los Angeles 2019 Pink Carpet at Los Angeles Convention Center on August 11, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)
    (Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

    It’s without question, Reynell “Supa Cent” Steward is a social media genius. You may remember last year during Cyber Monday, the 31-year-old entrepreneur made her-story when her beauty brand, The Crayon Casesold a whopping $1 million of products in 90 minutes

    RELATED | Exclusive: Beauty Boss Supa Cent Breaks Her Own Record By Making $1.3 Million In One Hour Selling Her Famous Palettes

    Well, that’s nothing compared to this year when Supa beat her record by making $1.37 million in just one hour. Slay, sis!

  19. And Last But Not Least, We Successfully Secured The Crowns Of All Major Pageants!
    Miss World 2019 Miss Jamaica Toni-Ann Singh, Miss Teen USA Kaliegh Garris, Miss America Nia Franklin, and Miss USA Cheslie Kryst, and Miss Universe 2019 Zozibini Tunzi.

(Photos: Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images, Gary Gershoff/Getty Images, Paras Griffin/Getty Images)
    (Photos: Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images, Gary Gershoff/Getty Images, Paras Griffin/Getty Images)

    For the first time in history, Black women secured all crowns in the mainstream pageant world—Miss America 2019 Nia Franklin, Miss USA 2019 Cheslie Kryst, Miss Teen USA 2019 Kaliegh Garris, Miss Universe 2019 Zozibini Tunzi, and Miss World 2019 Toni-Ann Singh! 

    RELATED | Queens And Their Crowns: The History Of Black Women Becoming Pageant Winners

    PATTAYA, THAILAND - 2019/03/08: Jazell Barbie Royale (C) of the US, the Miss International Queen 2019 seen receiving a kiss from finalists Kanwara Kaewjin (L) of Thailand and Yaya (R) of China  after winning the annual Miss International Queen 2019 transvestite contest in the beach resort town of Pattaya, Thailand. (Photo by Chaiwat Subprasom/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
    (Photo: Chaiwat Subprasom/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

    It’s also important to note that Jazell Barbie Royale from Jacksonville, FL, made history by being the first Black woman to earn the title, Miss International Queen at the international trans beauty pageant, based in Thailand. Do that, sis!


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